Offer – Before the survey it is normal to make price offer for the yacht. Without making offer you will not know if the owner is flexible in the price. In order to make an offer you should have viewed the yacht in order to have some items to negotiate. If the offer is low the sale process should be made more convenient to the seller. For a very low offer agree to take the yacht as is.
Contract – Before the survey it is usually required for sale contract to be signed. The sale contract also reserves the yacht while the survey process takes place.
Hauling and Sea Trial or Not – It is recommended to make all tests. The surveyor cannot tell you not to make a sea trial or to haul the boat. The ashore survey is very important to check the structure of the yacht, the keel attachment etc. Some insurers will only accept reports from ashore survey. In case there is not sea trial the engine can be started ashore on fresh water connection but it is not the same as a sea trial test up to full rpm. The sea trial includes also test of steering under load, seaworthiness and movement of structure at sea, check for leaks.
Crane scheduling – If the yacht is ashore prior to the survey then 1 hour is needed for the surveyor to make the required ashore items inspection before the launch. If the yacht is afloat and sea trial will be made before the hauling then the crane is best scheduled for around 12:00. More info.
Crane payment – The payment for the crane is to be paid by the seller direct to the yard. The major marinas issue invoice to the owner or the yacht manager not anyone else.
Anodes – Often during the lift it is found that some of the anodes require replacement or are loose therefore it is good to have anodes and loctite on board ready.
Antifouling – If the antifouling is to be renewed it is done during the week before launch. If the antifouling is not to be renewed then best not to make pressure wash during the lift because soft ablative antifouling will be washed off. It is possible to wash only the stern gear or hand scrape it or use acid.
Questions for Seller – The questions to ask the seller. How old are the sails, how old are the batteries, when was the rudder bearings last changed, for the engine service when were the injectors cleaned, fuel pump cleaned, exhaust elbow changed, heat exchanger cleaned. When was the fuel tank cleaned.
Standing Rigging – Many insurers have age requirement for the standing rigging and this should be checked with your insurer. Some allow for rig inspection between 10 and 15 years. Some require replacement at 10 years. For world cruising some are asking for 7 years. Rig inspection is possible during the survey but for monohull not ashore unless it is a large boat. The replacement cost is best included in your initial offer because many sellers do not consider the age a defect. Replacement cost would be approximately 5000 EUR but some riggers were asking 7000-10000 EUR. Even it is possible at 3000 EUR but with inferior materials.
Engine Hours – Quite often the digital hours gauge has stopped working and it is not possible to interrogate the hours of the small engines. So the owners declaration has to be trusted. How many is too many hours? The engines are recommended to be rebuilt at 7000-10000 hours or earlier if maintenance was poor and the cost can approach the 80% of a new engine. But if the engine is working without any issue and is with 5000 hours after heavy charter use but with annual professional maintenance then no problem. On a sea trial we want to see no leaks. No abnormal noises. No vibration (except if the propeller is fouled with marine growth). Exhaust to be clean (except if its cold weather or raw water intake is fouled with marine growth). At full rpm the exhaust to be clean unless its a few minutes of black smoke which finally clears (because the owner didnt run the engine at high rpm recently to clean it.). To replace a small engine it is generally about 12000 EUR and the gearbox and saildrive often not replaced.
Payment – The surveyor is to be paid according to the terms of the quotation. The payment can be bank transfer, credit card or via FX company such as wise.com.
Negotiation of Defects – The defects can be negotiated with sellers according to the sale contract. Cosmetics, normal wear & tear are normally excluded from negotiation. Some contracts exclude also safety equipment from negotiation. The common MYBA contract has only operational or seaworthiness defects as negotiable. If the offer was near the list price you should ask for discount or repairs for all the defects. If the initial offer was low then the sellers will probably be reluctant to negotiate much lower.